3.1. Importing Transactions from Files


This is an older version of Common Transaction Operations in the manual. Better continue there until this update anomaly is resolved.

Imported transactions will generally be to a specific account in your account tree. In the following this will be referred to as the import or base account. It may or may not be specified in the data being imported, depending on the import format. It is usually the first split of a transaction being imported.

All transactions will also must have a destination account for at least matching splits. This may or may not be supplied in the imported data. If it is not, an account can be assigned on the basis of the previous import history by matching to infomation in the imported data. The user may always over-ride this assignment.

Multi-split data previously exported from GnuCash may have both the import and destination accounts for transaction splits specified in the data file.

3.1.1. File Import Formats

Gnucash allows transactions to be imported in the following formats:

  • QIF (.qif) Quicken Interchange format - import data from Quicken financial software;

  • OFX/QFX (.ofx,.qfx) Open Financial eXchange format (QXF is an Intuit/Quicken proprietary version of OFX);

  • CSV (.csv) Comma Separated Values;

  • MT940 MT940

  • MT942 MT942


These import methods can be accessed from FileImport ... .

3.1.2. Import Matcher

Several of the Import Assistants use an Import Matcher to implement a Bayesian approach to assign destination accounts, if such accounts are not specified in the imported data, to each imported transaction based on the previous import history of the import account. It also attempts to match the transactions being imported to any existing transactions based on the date and the description fields .

Transaction rows which match existing transactions already in the import account are flagged not to be imported. They will have a light green background and the A and U+R checkboxes will be unchecked and the R checkbox will be checked. To override and import the transaction, check the A checkbox. The U and R boxes will be unchecked automatically. The reliability of the match is indicated by a bar display in the Info column. If a destination account for the second split is assigned by the matcher if will be appended to the info column.

Transaction rows which do not match existing transactions in the import account, for which an assignment of a destination account cannot be made on the basis of the previous import history to the account, will be displayed with an orange-yellow background and the A box will be checked and U+R and R unchecked. A destination account must be specified for these transactions. Assign a Destination Account to a Single Transaction

The currently selected row is selected by Left-clicking it. It is displayed with a mid dark green background.

Double click on a row. This will select it and open an Account Selection dialog. Select the desired destination account in the dialog and click OK. The row background will change to a light green and the assigned destination account will be displayed in the Info column.

or alternatively, Left-click on a row to select it followed by a Right-click to bring up a popup menu then select "Assign a transfer account" to display the Account Selection dialog, select the destination account and click the OK button. Assign a Destination Account to Multiple Transactions

Sometimes you will have several transactions which will have the same destination account. Gnucash allows you to select multiple transactions and apply the same destination account to all transactions in the selection.

Rows in a selection are displayed with a mid dark green background.

Multiple rows may be selected to have the same destination account assigned to them.

To select rows either:

  • Left click on first row and then Ctrl-Left click on other rows to add to the selection or

  • Left-click on a first row and then Shift-Left-click on another row to select all rows between them.

then Right-click to display a popup menu and then select "Assign a transfer account" to open the Account Selection dialog. Select the desired destination account and click the OK button in the Account Selection dialog. Completing the Import

Once you have assigned destination accounts for all the imported transactions using the above methods (all row backgrounds will be a light green colour), check that the assigned destination acounts are correct and then press the OK button at the bottom of the Generic Import Matcher window. The transactions selected for import will have their splits added to the selected source and destination accounts.

The choices made for the destination accounts and description/memo fields are remembered and stored and used for future imports to the same account to automatically assign a destination account for transaction records not containing destination account information.

3.1.3. Import QIF

To import data from Quicken®, MS Money, or other programs that use QIF(Quicken® Interchange Format), you must first export your data to a QIF file. One way to do this is to export each account as a separate QIF file. An easier way, available in Quicken® 98 and beyond, is to export all accounts at once into a single QIF file. Check your program's manual to determine if this option is available. To import QIF files: Load all of the QIF files containing data you wish to import

To do this, select File -> Import -> Import QIF... from the menu. When the QIF Import dialog box appears, click Next and follow the instructions to guide you through the process of loading your files.

This image shows the start of the QIF Import assistant.

You will be prompted for a filename to load. Use the Select button to select your QIF file and click Next to load it. Once the file is loaded, select Load another file if you have more files to load. When you have loaded all your QIF files, click Next to continue with the import process. Review the GnuCash accounts to be created.

The importer then matches up your QIF accounts and categories with GnuCash accounts and gives you a brief description of the matching process. Clicking Next will bring you to a view comparing your QIF accounts with the corresponding GnuCash accounts created. To change an account name, select the row containing that account name and edit the name in the dialog box provided. Click Next when you have finished making changes, and proceed through a similar category matching process. QIF income and expense categories import as GnuCash income and expense accounts Make changes to these account names if necessary, and click Next to continue.

Note: If you are not sure what changes are needed, it is safe to accept the GnuCash account names. It is easy to edit the accounts later if you find you need to make a change.

From the drop-down list, select a standard currency to be used for the imported accounts and click Next to continue. If you have stocks, mutual funds, or other securities, you will be prompted for additional information. The importer dialog will ask for the exchange or listing (i.e. Nasdaq), the security's full name, and the ticker symbol. If you do not have this information handy, you can edit the account information later, once the import is complete. Click Next to continue. Tell GnuCash to import the data.

The last step is the import. Once you have verified your account names and investment information, click Finish in the Update your GnuCash accounts page to complete the import process. Depending upon the size of your file, the import might take a few minutes to complete, so a progress bar displays the percentage finished. When the import process is complete, GnuCash will return you to the main window, which should now display the names of the accounts you imported.

3.1.4. Import OFX/QFX

This opens a file selection dialog. Navigate to the file you wish to import, select a file with the appropriate extension (.ofx or .qfx), then press the Import button.

Gnucash opens an Account Selection dialog to select an account in your CoA corresponding to data source. Select the appropriate account from the account tree and press the OK button. On subsequent import of files from the same source (identified by tags in the file), the source is remembered and the account selection dialog is not displayed.

The generic import transaction matcher dialog is opened next. See the Import Matcher section (common to both OFX/QFX and CSV import formats) following the Import CSV section to continue the import process.

3.1.5. Import CSV

Clicking on Import CSV in the Import menu will bring up the Import Assistant dialog. The first step brings up a file selection dialog. Navigate to the location where the file you wish to import is located and select the file to import then click the OK button.

The next window will allow you to set parameters for the importing of the file. All widgets have tooltips which explain what the setting affects and the options for the setting. Load and Save Settings

If this import is a regular occurrence, once you have set the other import paramters, you can save these settings by typing in a setting name in the Load and Save Settings Entry combo box and pressing the Save button just to the right of the box. Previously defined settings can be retrieved by selecting the appropriate setting name from the dropdown list activated by the down arrow at the right end of the text box. The trash can button to the right of the Save button can be used to remove the settings selected from the drop down list for the box. The settings group "GnuCash Export Settings" define a setting group for the export and reimport of GnuCash transaction data - use this if importing data previously exported from GnuCash. Account

This combo box allows you to select the base or import account into which the transactions will be imported. It may be left unset if the imported data contains a column listing the accounts associated with each split or the import data specifies the account for first split of the transaction. File Format

This section allows you to define whether the file has:

  • Fixed width columns Selecting this radio button will allow you to define column boundaries by double clicking at the appropriate positions in the sample records displayed in the panel below. Single clicking in a column will narrow, widen or merge the column.

  • Separators Selecting this radio button will allow you to define characters which will be used to distinguish columns in the input file. The default is comma separated however spaces, tabs,colons or semicolons or any combination of them may be used to separate columns in the input file by selecting the appropriate check boxes. You may also define custom separators by typing the required characters into the text box and selecting the Custom checkbox. This may be used in combination with any of the predefined separators.

  • Multi-split Selecting this check box allows the splits for a single transaction to be defined on consecutive lines within the file with each line defining a single split. If not selected each line is assumed to contain the information for a single transaction including one or two splits. Miscellaneous

The miscellaneous settings allow you to set:

  • EncodingThis is usually the UTF-8 variant for your locale;

  • Date Format This does not default to the Locale setting so check it matches the data you are importing;

  • Currency Format;

  • Leading Lines to Skip Can be set to skip a number of non-transaction lines preceding the actual data. This can include a field name header or an introduction section in the import file;

  • Trailing Lines to Skip Can be set to skip a number of non-transaction lines following the actual data. This can include a summary section;

  • Skip alternate lines When set only every other line will be imported, starting from the first line not skipped with the "Leading Lines to Skip" option;

to match the settings for the file you are importing. Tooltips may also contain information on the setting and options. Import Panel

The import panel shows the data being imported as it is interpreted using the settings chosen to define columns and formats. The dropdown lists in the headers for each column of the import allow you to associate a specific column in the imported data with a specific field in the display of a transaction in an account register. At a minimum to import data, columns in the imported data containing the following information must be specified:

  • Date of transaction;

  • Account into which transaction is to be imported (or alternatively set the base account as above);

  • Description of the transaction;

  • Deposit or Withdrawal column.

The Skip Errors check box will skip trying to import any rows with errors in matching the columns.

When you are happy with all the import settings, save them if you will use the same settings again, then press the Next button. This will bring up a window which allows you to map the accounts identified in the account column (Account Id) with accounts in the GnuCash account tree (Account name). Double click on a row to bring up a dialog to select the matching GnuCash account. When you have selected a match for all accounts, click on the Next button.

The Transaction Information panel allows review of data entry settings so far.

Clicking on Match Transactions will then bring up the main Import Matcher window described in the next section.

3.1.6. Import MT940

Use this option to import MT940 data.

3.1.7. Import MT942

Use this option to import MT942 data.

3.1.8. Import DTAUS

Use this option to import DTAUS data.